Does Anyone Use a Great Pryenees to Protect Against Hawks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Baymule, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in town and keep our girls in the backyard. I was given a Great Pyrenees several years ago because she was killing her previous owners chickens. It took over 2 years, but she is now their protector, not their killer. She keeps away feral cats, raccoons and opossums. I have been able to let the hens out since March of this year. Paris watches over them and even lets them steal her food. LOL
    Paris's story is here;
    http://www.backyardherds.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=24453&p=1

    A few days ago, I was in the backyard and a hawk flew in real low. The hens sounded alarm, Paris leaped in the air at the hawk, barking. The hawk landed in a neighbor's tree. Paris went nuts barking at the hawk. It looked things over and flew off. I was very proud of Paris and lavished her with love and attention.

    So is there anyone here that uses a LGD to protect their chickens? Paris spends a good part of her day under the deck, napping in the cool earth. The hens can stay in the yard all day, clucking and chirping happily. But let a couple of alarm BA-GAWKS sound off and she comes boiling out, looking for trouble. I am afraid that a hawk could actually land on one of the hens and kill her before Paris could run to the rescue. I don't keep a rooster because of being in the middle of town and close neighbors.(which would be another alarm system LOL)

    It is raining and will be all week, so not letting the girls out anyway. How long do I need to keep them up so that the hawk forgets about them?

    Even if you don't have a LGD watching out for your flock, what do ya'll think about me trusting Paris with keeping them safe from the hawk?
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Dogs are not much of a deterrent to a hawk.
    They will stirke when they have the opportunity, and most LGD's spend a large portion of the day sleeping
     
  3. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your response. Paris does spend most of the day laid up like a drunk sleeping one off. [​IMG] She is active mostly at night, but she does come to life in the late afternoons/evenings. What do you think about me letting the hens out then, under her supervision?
     
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: She still won't be a real deterrent to any hawk that is hungry enough

    All it takes is for one bird to isolate itself for a few seconds at the wrong time

    Personally, I don't worry too much about hawks since there's no real way to stop them short of locking the birds in all the time.

    If you're haveing problems with them, shutting the birds in for a couple of days will normally cause tehm to move to different hunting grounds
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Deterrent is possible and probable if promoted. This based on lots of experience with and without use of dogs. Mechanism for defending chickens is not always the same but having dogs present certainly reduces death loss of games on walks to hawks.

    Some dogs will take issue with hawks when chickens get riled. LGD's with sheep and goats near my lab do not seem to keep red-tails from hunting rodents in pasture or accipiter hawks from hunting perching birds in feedlot or barn. In contrast my dogs go ballistic when hawks stir chickens up. Representatives of standard LGD breeds might be more responsive once they get exposure to chickens communications.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  6. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine keep all strange birds out of the area but I use put them on strange birds anytime they tried to come in , now they take care of them on their own. day or night.

    The other night my dogs were running around barking like crazy, I got my q-bem and started out across to the barn and a huge owl flew right in front of me, I got out a roman candle and gave it a light show with a bang, it ain't been back sense

    Her are a couple running off a heron that decide to drop in
    [​IMG]
     
  7. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My GPs definitely notice large birds flying overhead. They are still young, so I don't expect much from them, but I do suspect that once they are older, they will chase off overhead predators. They bark at the geese flying overhead to the local pond quite a lot.

    A friend of mine has an Anatolian and Akbash, and she said the Anatolian has chased off hawks during the day.

    One benefit of having a pair is that one sleeps and the other is awake. Mine seem to rotate watch duty 24/7, even as 5 month olds.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Lots of dogs take note of birds flying overhead. Last night a rather large flock of what sounded like snow geese flew overhead getting my two dogs all riled up barking at sky. I could barely discern shadows among stars but dogs could likely see very clearly although it was likely the sound that caught their attention. The dogs also get their panties in a bunch when great-horned owls visit. Most of time owls are hooting and screaming as they approach this time of year but once their chicks are weaned they will largely approach without calling yet dogs know they are present. The owls seem intent on hunting even when dogs are present so male dog follows owl around no more than 30 feet and sometimes only about 10 feet below and sits looking up at owl on tree branch above. Dog growls audibly but does not bark except when owl is in flight where dog chases after it. I have watched interaction a few times over the years to see great-horned owls come in and dislodge chickens from trees before they pounce. When dogs are present, the dog stands on ground among chickens that do not seem able to see well enough to even walk through high grass. The dog then then just stares at owl which stares at chickens. Some of the really cool stuff is what goes on in tree before chickens bail. The behavior can also alert dogs if not already present. Before having current dogs in place, commotion reliably brought red fox in after owl visits, I presume to go after birds owl knocked out of tree.
     
  9. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    My min-pin watches the sky for large birds. She alerts at cranes, buzzards, ravens, hawks and crows. There is not a doubt in my mind she would chase/attack given the chance.

    She attacked a German shepherd that was chasing her chihuaha friend. She actually drew blood!
     

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